Kenyon women’s tennis ended their fall season on a high note. Both doubles and singles had successful runs through the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Central Regional Championship held at Oberlin College this past weekend. The tournament included 64 singles players and 64 doubles pairs.
In the singles bracket, Diana Aboubakare ’18 and Erika Oku ’21 had the deepest runs into the tournament. Seeded at No. 4, Aboubakare defeated her first two opponents from Denison University and Case Western Reserve University in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 and 6-2, 6-2, respectively. But her run ended a round before the quarter finals with a disappointing three-set loss to her Washington University opponent, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. Oku won her first two matches in straight sets 6-0, 2-0 (ret.) and 6-2, 7-5 before falling in the same round as her teammate.
After losing in the first round of singles, Ilana Blackwood ’21 did not falter again as she defeated every opponent she faced, eventually winning the backdraw finish 4-6, 6-4, 10-7.
Annie Reiner ’20 was the only other Lady to tally a win in the first round of singles play.
In doubles, the Ladies pair of Aboubakare and Oku raced to the semifinals by beating opponents from Case Western, Denison and Washington University before falling in the finals in two sets 6-4, 7-6. On the other side of the bracket, Blackwood and Ceylan Can ’18 proved to be a solid team as they came into the doubles tournament as the 15th seed.
The pair fought to the semifinal match, beating the No. 3- and No. 6-seeded pairs, before a tough 8-3 loss to Washington University’s Grace Deering and Ally Persky.
The Ladies had two other pairs in the doubles bracket. Grace Winslow ’18 and Mara Kaspers ’20 won twice before falling to the No. 1-seeded duo from the University of Chicago. The pair of Reiner and Megan Collins ’20 won their first match but lost in the second round.
“We are optimistic for the spring season,” Aboubakare said. “The freshmen are strong additions to the team and we showed our depth of talent in the past few tournaments, so hopefully we can repeat our success from last year.”
After a solid performance at the ITA Regional Championship, Ladies tennis will have high expectations and will look to rise to the occasion in the spring season.